Families displaced by a Christmas Eve fire in Laurel will not be able to return to their homes until Friday at the earliest, a Prince George's County fire official said Wednesday.

The fire, which did about $70,000 worth of damage, broke out around 4 p.m. due to a malfunctioning furnace in a second-floor apartment, spokesman Mark Brady said.

No one was injured, but fire damage or utility shut-off forced 17 adults and seven children from their homes, he said. The Red Cross provided assistance.